“Just so you know, I’m boring.” These were the first words Jenny Cifelli, assistant editor for Public Relations and Marketing for the Libraries, said when I called her for this interview. I assured her that many people may think that about themselves, but it’s rarely true. We’ve all got interesting stories to tell. That’s certainly true of Jenny’s case. From massage therapy to the oil business to public relations, Jenny’s career path has some fun twists and turns that has led her here to Penn State.
Jenny grew up on the Lakeshore area of Chicago. She loved living there, but she wasn’t crazy about the weather. During high school, she worked at a bath store where she would blend the customer’s choices from the perfume bar to create their unique shampoo, conditioner, or lotion. Let’s just say that some patrons’ choices were a little more “unique” than others! But she loved the job, and it would influence her later career choices. A friend would eventually purchase the store, and sometimes Jenny gets to go back and run the it for a bit. From there, she went on to become a massage therapist and lived in New Jersey, California, and Oregon. She also spent some time working in the oil business.
It was in September of 2017 that Jenny joined the Penn State family. She was already familiar with the State College area since her father had grown up around there, and she had visited as a child. She began working in the Public Relations and Marketing Department where she provides promotion, public relations, and communications from the all the libraries to the faculty, staff, and students via press releases and social media. When I asked her what part of working for Penn State she enjoys most, she said she loves being able to hear and tell all the stories that people create. She feels like she gets to know people based off the classes and work that they produce. She said, “There’s a lot of excited librarians around. I love it!”
When she’s procrastinating from something she doesn’t want to do, Jenny likes to organize. She says there’s nothing like cleaning out a closet! But her biggest passion is all things wellness. She teaches yoga classes, and although she gave up her massage therapy license, she still enjoys giving massages for fun. She’s a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, which aims to integrate aromatherapy into complimentary healthcare practices. With a little bit of luck, Jenny will hopefully have a little pet therapy soon, as well. She’s searching rescue sites with the hope of adopting an Australian Shepherd dog.
So, when you need to get the word out about your class or event, let Jenny know. And if you need a nice, relaxing massage while the sweet smell of lavender wafts through the air, maybe let her know that, too! (I can’t make any promises but it’s worth a try, right?!)
Ten Random Questions with Jenny Cifelli
- Favorite Color? Aqua & Orange
- Best gift you ever received? A car from her aunt—it gave her the opportunity to travel.
- Favorite food? Salmon… but better yet, lobster & champagne!!
- First thing you would do if you won the lottery? Take a world tour. Travel to every continent.
- Talent you wished you had? To sing
- Least favorite word? Tummy
- If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin
- Toilet Paper—Over or Under? Over
- If you left on a desert island, what one item would you have to have with you? Headphones & music
- Last concert you attended? Dead & Company (The Grateful Dead with John Mayer)